Thank you to Johnny Compton for writing such an excellent novel that highlighted an African-American family, but also for explaining what a spite house is. This is an amazing Gothic horror where we have a haunted house situation, the past always seems to catch up to us in the end, and you can feel the spooky ambiance the entire time you are reading! Eric Ross and his two daughters are currently avoiding their past lives and are living out of motel rooms when Eric reads a job listing to stay at a spite house in Texas to try to capture any evidence of supernatural activity. You get MULTIPLE point of views, but it keeps the story moving very well and it is almost seamless. For example, one moment you are reading the POV of the homeowner who is trying to employ Eric and she is finishing up a meeting with a group of ghost hunters and the next chapter is Eric’s POV and it mentions he walks into a meeting room as a group of men are walking out, so it literally picks up where another leaves off. However, there were a few POVs from side characters that I could have done completely without. It was nice to read about the previous tenants of the spite house who had taken the job right before Eric, though. I don’t want to spoil anything, but the twist about why the family is on the run is epic! One negative I would say is that the ending felt a little rushed and it did not hold up as well compared to the rest of the book in my opinion. However, that did not take anything away from how much I enjoyed the novel overall. Eric is a bad dude for staying in that creepy house by himself to try to make a better life for himself and his girls!
The Spite House by Johnny Compton, (List Price: 17.99, Tor Nightfire, 9781250891952, February 2023)
Reviewed by Kait Layton, The Haunted Book Shop in Mobile, Alabama